The Association has raised money to repair and restore the Russian Orthodox Iversky Monastery which was established in 1653. Like many other religious shrines in Russia, the monastery was severely damaged during the communist era. Substantial progress has been made on the restoration of the monastery buildings and the iconography. The monastery is once again a religious and cultural center in the Valdai District.
Aerial view of Iversky Monastery and Cathedral
The Iversky Monastery has a unique place in the history of Valdai. Situated on one of the islands on Lake Valdai, the Monastery was founded in 1653 by Moscow Metropolitan Nikon, who later became the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Monastery is modeled after the the Iversky Monastery in Aphon Greece. Thick impenetrable walls and six towers were constructed to protect the Iversky Monastery from invading Polish armies sent by the Roman Catholic Church in ancient times.
The Monastery includes within its walls the Saint Virgin Mary Dormition, the Cathedral of the Epiphany, the Saint Jacob Borovichesky Church and the Saint Philippe Church. In the early years of it existence, the Monastery was the site of the first provincial printing house, which was important to Nikon’s reforms and the religious education in old Russia. For centuries the Monastery served the people of Valdai as a spiritual, cultural and political center.
During the Communist era, the Monastery was seized the government and the buildings and iconography were allowed to deteriorate for decades. In 1991 the Soviet government return the ownership of many of the buildings to the Orthodox Church, and since then the cathedrals and other structures have been gradually repaired and the iconography returned to their former glory.
In January of 2008, the restored Iversky Monastery was sanctified and blessed with Patriarch Alexis II and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in attendance. The Iversky Monastery is once again the spiritual and cultural center of the Valdai District.
Beautifully refurbished church